Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte remained coy on Friday when asked directly about supposed multi-million peso deposits to his bank account during his birthday in 2014 as alleged by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
"Ibig sabihin niyan marami akong kaibigan na mayaman," he replied when asked if it is true that there were seven deposits made to his Bank of the Philippine Islands account.
Pressed if the deposits made were gifts, he replied: "Alangan naman na hinold-up ko?"
Duterte said he never denied the existence of the account.
“Ang sinabi ko wala akong deposito na ganoon kalaki,” he said.
Duterte made the pronouncements after a lunch meeting with elected officials of Cavite province including outgoing Governor Jonvic Remulla at a restaurant in Pasay City. Remulla is a known ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Later, however, when asked again if these "birthday gifts" were considered improper, he said that his earlier statement was just made in jest.
"Kayo ang nagsabi niyan, hindi ako. Eh kung ganoon marami pala akong kaibigan. Kapag ganoon, pinapasakay ko lang kayo. Ano ba kayo uy," he said.
As reporters continued to probe on his bank accounts specifically on the existence of BPI-Greenhills and Banco de Oro-Davao City accounts, Duterte maintained that he has no ill-gotten wealth.
"Everybody of us here may mga account. But kung magsabi lang kayo na ill-gotten, wala ako," he told reporters.
"Saan ko ninakaw? I have been mayor for 22 years, meron ba kayong nakitang kasong corruption? Tanong kayo ng ahente diyan. Ask anybody in Davao kung nakialam ba ako ng transaction. Maybe you have forgotten that. Hindi naman ako — anyway, ayoko magyabang," he added.
Duterte only confirmed an account at BPI Julio Vargas Avenue branch in Ortigas. It is a joint account with his daughter lawyer Sara Duterte-Carpio who is running for Davao City mayor.
But he said that the amount in the account is less than P211 million as Trillanes, a vice presidential candidate who expressed support for Senator Grace Poe, alleged.
The presidential front-runner also denied accepting money from mining companies or owners and even cursed at such idea.
"P— ina. I told you, I do not accept dirty money," he said. —JST, GMA News